Will your character stumble upon an indulgence of leprechauns who have overindulged in drink? Perhaps your character will seek out a swell of naiads, a delectation of nymphs, a pleasure of pixies, or a resolution of sprites. Is your character so excited to see Santa that he will try to catch him coming down the chimney? How surprised will he be when he discovers that Santa is an elf?
Leprechauns, the “wee folk” from Ireland, are little men that are usually harmless though they do like to play tricks on farmers and local residents. Everyone wants to catch a leprechaun—each one is said to have a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. They are very cunning and sneaky, therefore extremely difficult to capture. Also, they are said to indulge in their favorite drink, poteen, otherwise known as moonshine. No matter how much poteen an indulgence of leprechauns indulges in, they are never too drunk to help their shoemaker with his work.
Naiads are water nymphs. They are connected with bodies of fresh water, such as springs and rivers. Each naiad is said to be intimately connected with her body of water. If it dries up, she dies. One of the definitions of swell is to rise in waves, as the sea. A swell of naiads would be very beautiful to gaze upon.
Nymphs, minor female deities, are spirits of nature. There are several subtypes of nymphs, each one a young and pretty girl, each presiding over an aspect of nature. These include dryads (groves and forests), naiads (springs and rivers), nereids (the sea), oceanids (the ocean), oreads (mountains and hills), limoniads (meadows and flowers), limniads (lakes, marshes, and swamps), meliads (ash-trees), epimeliads (protectors of sheep), and napaea (valleys and glens). There are many more categories of nymphs, though names vary according to the ancient source. These nature ladies must be a lot of fun to be around, as a group of them would be known as a delectation of nymphs.
A pixie is a fairy, especially one that is mischievous. These fun-loving fairies that study magic have no other purpose except to have fun. Mostly they have fun by misleading travelers and sending them in the wrong direction. Although annoying, a gathering of these beautiful, flitting creatures is called a pleasure of pixies.
A pleasure of pixies also shows the existence of electricity above the clouds. This weather phenomenon appears as white points in the sky but does not occur at the same time as lightning strikes.
Now where do I get that Santa Claus is an elf? Let’s look at a favorite and much recited Christmas poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, otherwise known as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The following two lines from this poem provide evidence that Santa Claus is an elf:
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,
I don’t believe that a fat and jolly Santa the size of an average man could fit on a miniature sleigh.
The next line is closer to the end of the poem. I believe this line says it all.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
I never could figure out how a chubby and plump Santa laden with a huge bag of gifts was supposed to fit through a chimney. It is much easier to believe that a chubby, plump elf could slide down such a narrow passageway.
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph are the names of Santa’s reindeer. These guys pull Santa’s sleigh, but there is only one Santa Claus.
Thanks to costumes, now there are many who dress up like Santa around Christmas each year. You can see them in department stores with little children in a line, each one anxiously waiting a turn to sit on Santa’s lap. Or they can be seen in front of stores collecting money for charities. One might even dress up like Santa Claus so he can sneak into a house to rob it or commit murder. Who would call the cops on Santa Claus around Christmas time?
Did you know that there are Santa Claus conventions? I didn’t believe my husband when he told me this, but there are actually conventions for those who dress up as Santa Claus in New York City, San Francisco, Gatlinburg, and a host of other cities. They discuss how to be a better Santa. A group of these costumed individuals would be called a sleigh of Santa Claus.
Sprites, because of their glistening and filmy wings, are often mistaken for some exotic insect or flower. Then one takes a closer look at this little faerie and knows a mistake has been made. Very playful, they love to chase butterflies and pester them. They can be rather obnoxious and will bite if pestered or provoked in some way. Their determination to get their own way has earned them the collective noun of a resolution of sprites.
Sprites also have to do with the weather. Weather sprites are some pretty large electrical discharges that occur high above active thunderstorms and cause a wide variety of visual shapes to flicker in the night sky. Each sprite only lasts for a fraction of a second and is barely able to be seen by our unaided human vision only if conditions are right. They are associated with positive cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.
Will the sprites and pixies in your story have to do with weather? Why not make your story have both types of sprites and pixies? Allow these elfin beings to influence what their weather namesakes do.